Wholemeal loaf

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Simple wholemeal loaf. One that a particular teenager exclaims to be delicious – so that is saying a lot from a person that doesn’t normally eat brown bread. With a chewy but thin crust and a soft bouncy inside, it is full of flavour and the goodness of fibre, zinc and iron.

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This is a loaf that can be easily made in the evening and be ready and done by the time you are off to bed. And knowing this loaf will serve your family the following day as part of their packed lunches, whether turned into sandwiches or had with some soup, should allow you to cross one thing of your list on how to keep your family healthy without any ground-breaking changes. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams of stoneground wholemeal flour
  • 7 grams of instant yeast
  • 10 grams of salt
  • 40 grams of unsalted butter, softened
  • 340 ml warm water (body temperature)

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Add the flour, yeast and salt into a bowl and give it a stir. Now add the butter, pour in the warm water and mix it all together to combine. Once the dough comes together, start kneading and continue for 10 minutes or so. You should end up with a soft dough.

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Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl, cover it with cling film and leave to double in size somewhere draft free in your kitchen.

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Once it has doubled in size, turn it out onto a floured board and flatten the dough down. Bring the furthest edge into the middle, give the dough a turn, bring the next bit of the edge into the middle and continue to turn and bringing the edge into the middle until you have turned the dough 360 degree and what was the outside edge is now fully turned into the middle. Turn the dough over on itself and cusp it with both palms of your hands. Continue to turn the dough between your hands whilst tucking it underneath until you have a tight ball of dough.

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Place the dough seam up into a floured banneton and cover it either with cling film or a carrier bag. If you do not have a banneton, place it straight onto a baking tray lined with some baking parchment and cover it with cling film or a tea towel. Allow to prove for about an hour to an hour and a half until doubled in size again.

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Place a baking stone or a shallow casserole in the oven and allow it to heat to 200°C. I find my Le Creuset buffet casserole to be perfect for baking bread in but if you don’t have either, a normal baking tray will do as well. Just make sure whatever baking dish you use, it heats up together with your oven so that it is nice and hot when it’s time to bake the bread.

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Turn the proven dough out onto some baking parchment and using a sharp knife or a lame, make couple of deep slashes across the top. These allow the bread to expand a little more without cracking whilst it bakes in the oven.

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Bake the bread for 25 minutes, then lower the temperature to 190°C and bake for further 15 minutes. The loaf should be deep golden brown colour and sound shallow when tapped underneath. Leave to rest on a wire rack until completely cooled.

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As you can see, this one didn’t bloom as much a white loaf will but that is absolutely fine. The loaf is soft and springy with no stodgy under-proven dough in sight. It had rested overnight wrapped in a clean tea towel and we enjoyed it for our Sunday family breakfast.

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It was an absolute pleasure to have. My favourite combo with a wholemeal bread is a smoked salmon and a dill & mustard sauce. As far as open top sandwiches go, this one is a near perfection. And it was equally good as an accompaniment to some Polish white borsch soup with hard boiled eggs and bacon and it meant we finished the loaf within two meals. Whatever you choose to have with your wholemeal loaf, take pleasure in making it and serving it to your family. Enjoy x

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  1. Pingback: Soulful white loaf | Milk, Toast & Honey

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